Kale Brose


Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

Soup made from oatmeal? I was curious, then absolutely flabbergasted by how delicious this very simple soup is. To the dismay of some of the members of my book club, we had just determined that our next meeting would be around Robbie Burns day and we would have Scottish cuisine. Agreeing that we wouldn't make haggis or deep fried Mars bars, those of us in the group who are of Scottish heritage are going to try to convince the naysayers that traditional Scottish food is quite wonderful. Hence the brose.

Brose is in fact, oatmeal which is poured into a bowl of boiling water, covered and allowed to "steep" as it were, until the oatmeal is softened. Kale is a staple food in many areas of Scotland and is often added to oatmeal.The text for the recipe suggests a strong broth made of ox head, or cow heel, but having neither of those things on hand, I opted to make it with some good strong chicken stock. I went back for seconds, and I'm still thinking about this soup. I've got some kale left in my garden, so I might just make myself some more of it this weekend. I think I might add a bit more oatmeal next time and have a slightly thicker soup. The pepper is important, so don't stint.

My thanks to club member Catherine for passing on this recipe from Scots Cooking by Sue Lawrence. You can be sure I'm going to get a copy of it and try out more Scottish foods.


10 oz. curly kale, well washed, stalks removed
2 pints hot beef stock
2 oz medium oatmeal
1 heaped tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper


  1. Place the kale in a large saucepan with the hot stock and bring to the boil. Then cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Meanwhile, place the oatmeal on a sheet of foil and toast under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown, shaking often so it does not burn.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a blender and puree with a ladle or so of the stock, then return it to the pan. Add the salt and plenty of freshly milled pepper. Gradually add most of the toasted oatmeal and, stirring constantly to avoid lumps, cook for 4-5 minutes, until thickened. Check the seasoning and ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Sprinkle over the remaining oatmeal.
This recipe appears in: Soups
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